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Sawyer '18 Back from the Void


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#1 Sawyer

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:09 PM

Hello everybody, old friends and new friends alike.  The last couple three years have been challenging for me, but come hell or high water, 2018 will be the year of the pepper.  I'll try to fill in some details going forward, but for now, I mostly just want to get this glog started.  The one in 2016 petered out before its time and I didn't even start one last year.  For any who would like to review better times, there are links to previous years' glogs part way down the first post in the 2016 glog:
 
 
For the most part, I'm using the same set up as described in those topics... a couple of multi-shelf PVC plant stands with 4' T8 fluorescent shop lights.  I have a lot of new stuff to try out this year, but I'll be starting with the old.
 
My seed stock has taken a huge hit in the interim.  I do have some old stock I'll be testing and adding to the list as germination tests verify viability, but for now, this is my grow list:
 
Variety - Source*
 
CHINENSE:
7 Pod, OS Red - 2
7 Pod White - 2
7 Pod, OS Yellow - 2
7 Pot Cinder Caramel - 5
Bahamian Goat - 5
Bhut Jolokia, Chocolate Brown - 2
Bhut Jolokia, OS Red - 1
B.O.C. - 5
Big Black Mama - 5
Brain Strain, Yellow - 5
Chocolate Bhutlah - 2
Carolina Reaper - 2
Moruga Scorpion, Red - 2
Papa Dreadie - 5
Pumpkin Bubblegum - 5
Reaper Bhut - 2
Scotchbrain - 5
 
HATCH STYLE: 
New Mexico No. 6 - 4
 
HOT ANNUUM: 
Gochu - 5
Habanero - 4
Habanero, Orange - 3
Santa Fe Grande - 3
Shishito - 3
Jalapeño, Tam - 3
Jalapeño, Zapotec - 5
Thai, Large Orange - 5
 
MILD ANNUUM: 
Poblano - 3
 
SWEET ANNUUM: 
Bellingrath Gardens - 3
California Wonder - 4
Palmyra - 2
Piquillo - 3
Sulu Adana - 2
Tekne Dolmasi - 2
 
Baccatum: 
Pluma - 2
 
Pubescens: 
Aji Largo - 5
Aji Oro - 5
Rocoto, Mini Red - 5
Rocoto, Guatemalan Red - 5
 
Hybrids: 
PDN-Bonda - 5
 
* Source key:
1 - Self
2 - PepperLover
3 - Trade Winds Fruit
4 - American Seed
5 - Devv
 
I do have a few other self-saved seeds, but the only one listed right now is Bhut Jolokia, Original Strain Red.  These seeds may be more than ten years old, but they've been refrigerated and last fall a germination test yielded around 70% germination.  
 
I also plan to start a topic in "Growing - Other" and one somewhere in one of the "Business" forums.
 
Thanks for looking in.  More soon.


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#2 beerbreath81

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:35 PM

Pretty good lookin list there buddy, let me know if you are in need of some seeds be more than happy to toss some your way. Good luck in 2018!!

 

:cheers:



#3 Essegi

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 02:42 PM

Hey John, i'm really happy to see you back, i hope all is fine now!

Nice interesting list, there's a couple of varieties i don't remember of.

Best of luck for that season!



#4 PaulG

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 04:37 PM

Welcome back, my friend!

Heres to a great season for you, John,
Will try to check in now and then.

Looking forward to seeing how Tristens
cross grows for you. Feel free to post its
progress to the thread link below...

Edited by PaulG, 13 February 2018 - 04:50 PM.

Every Pod a Victory!  Pimenta de Neyde x Bonda Ma Jacques


#5 Devv

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:31 PM

Good to see you're back John!

 

Good luck!


It's all about the pods....


#6 TrentL

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 11:27 PM

Hey another old timer. Looks like I'm not the only one to suddenly reappear after several years away. :)

 

Good luck this year!

 



#7 Sawyer

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 01:55 PM

Thanks for your posts, guys.

 

I guess it's going to take some time and effort to get back in the swing of keeping up with this glog, not to mention everyone else's and the rest of THP I want to follow.  One step at a time, I suppose.

 

By no means a valid excuse for not being here, but partly I wanted to have some good news to post before I came back in.  As of this morning I have that.  Last... Sunday, I think, I planted two flats of red ghost seeds.  A 7x12 cell flat with 5 seeds per cell and a 10x20 cell flat with a varying number of seeds per flat, probably anywhere from 4 to 7.  (It was getting dark and I rushed.)  So 420 (hah) seeds in the one flat and over a 1,000 in the other.  As of this morning, seeds were starting to pop.  Pics to follow.

 

One reason I planted so many seeds of this variety is that I have (maybe, possibly, tentatively) a commercial order for plants.  If that falls through (and I've learned the hard way never to count on anything until it's long done), well, okay, I have other plans.  For one thing, red ghosts are the main ingredient in one of my first four pepper condiments.  More about that another time. 

 

Another reason to plant so many seeds is because I want to offer them for trade here on THP and needed to verify viability before doing so.  In a few days, I'll be able to calculate a minimum germination percentage.  Last fall I was getting about 70%.  These are very old seeds, ten years or more, but have been refrigerated (not frozen) for all of this time.  (Minus a few days when my refrigerator quit while I was in Wyoming a few years ago.)  What I think may make these seeds interesting to some of you is that they are isolated and, because they are so old, are close to the original red ghost introduced by CPI back in the early aughts.  I purchased two plants from... well, I forget his name at the moment, a guy down in Florida, not sure if I've ever seen him on THP, certainly not to make the connection.  Anyway, he got his original seeds from CPI and always isolated his plants.  So these seeds are a very few generations from the original and have been isolated from the get go.  That may make them of interest to some of you.  I'll post some germination percentages as soon as I have some decent numbers.

 

One reason it's taken almost a whole week for these seeds to start popping is that I am unable to maintain as good a control over germination temperatures as I would like.  I'm still using the same germination station as before, referenced in my first post above, but I'm not able to keep the room it's in adequately heated.  I've got it insulated reasonable well, but in the last week we've have temperatures in the lower 20s.  Flat temperatures dropped below 70 deg F on those nights, even with the heater mats cranked to max.  Then daytime temps jumped up around 70 for a couple of days and flat temps got up to around 90 or so.  I mean, I like to ramp temps up and down a little around the optimal 82 deg F, but that's ridiculous.

 

More soon(er than this time.)



#8 TrentL

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 03:32 PM

Props for testing your germination rates before offering up seeds.

 

I got bit in the ass this year (my first commercial grow, I bought a farm), by bad germination rates. I struck out completely (as in 0%) on several varieties from commercial seed sellers on this forum. My first batch of 32 trays (2304) had an overall germination rate of only 43%. 9 entire trays didn't sprout ONE seedling. And several others were in the sub 10% sprouting rate.

 

Now I was planning on something optimistically closer to 80%; getting 43% means I have to double up my second batch (now at 70 trays... ugh) so that I have a better chance of filling the allotted space on the farm.

 

This not only doubled the workload to "catch up" but it also means I've lost the chance to grow out many of the slower growing hot peppers entirely. There's just not enough time to re-plant and grow out anything in the field and expect any sort of decent harvest. Sure, the plants may mature, but about the time they are flowering, now, it will be 95+ outside and flowers will be dropping instead of setting pods. So I don't expect jack for a harvest on any of the replants. Best thing I can hope for is to bag some budding flowers early September and hope they set, for seed stock. Won't be enough to really get any quantity of produce off of.

 

Not meaning to be overly negative, but when I order tomato seeds, it is printed right on the package what the test date was and what germination % was. Should at *least* get that off of pepper seeds, especially when you're ordering at QTY 10 and paying $4 a pack for some varieties. I mean, I ordered over $430 in seeds off one vendor (buckeye) and struck completely out with full trays of no-shows on over 30 packs of seeds right off the get go. That's just unacceptable. (And I still don't know what annuum varieties will be complete failures; just got those in the trays this week)

 

Anyway, back to the point, THANK YOU for doing this step to test your stuff. That is worthy of mad props, brother. Much appreciated, that folks are taking this step to ensure others don't find themselves in a bind.

 


Edited by TrentL, 10 March 2018 - 03:32 PM.


#9 Sawyer

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 01:06 PM

Hey, Trent, thanks for stopping by. That sucks you're having such poor results with germination... Wow! I just popped over to your glog for a quick gander and to see what your germination setup was like and saw you have 31 pages already. Gonna have to go back later when I have a little more time to spend. But congrats on the farm.

Anyway, the only thing, other than bad seed, that I can think of at the moment is exactly what I'm dealing with, i.e., inadequate temperature control on the germination flats. You've been doing this awhile, though, so I'm sure you have that handled.

Granted, this screws up your timing big time, but have you tried contacting the vendor you got the bad seed from? Surely they would make good on them. Surely.

I have some promising germination numbers, but gotta go somewhere right now. Back in a few.

#10 Sawyer

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 03:00 PM

As of this morning, I have about 150 seedlings sprouted in the 7x12 flat and right at 300 in the 10x20 flat. Also, I realized/remembered three rows of the latter are planted to ginseng, not ghosts. So very roughly, out of 7x12x5=420 plus 10*17*6=1020, so 1440 total seeds, 450 have germinated. That's a little better than 30%, so for sure the seeds aren't completely dead. I expect at most maybe twice this many will germinate by the time it's all done. Will update numbers tomorrow.

Gonna have to relearn how to post images, but in the meantime, pictures of what I have can be found on this shared Google Drive folder:

https://drive.google...uhXF6qjra1viYe2

I had started planting ginseng seed cell by cell, but with a quarter pound of seed, I only planted three rows in that one flat before seeking a better way. I wound up broadcasting them in three 1020 flats sans inserts. Several thousand seeds altogether.

#11 TrentL

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 03:50 PM

Yeah the warming mats I use keep the soil at 85-86, a little less if I have them on the slab floor instead of a table. Sprouting in coir. I had 0 for 288 (plus 0 for 12 on test sprouts a few weeks before that) on red and orange habaneros from buckeye, while big suns were sprouting 96% or better (also from buckeye) right next to them, on the same mat, same media, same everything. 

 

Certain other ones, like Matay, sprouted 1 for 144... Cayenne is at 1 for 144... brown moruga 1 for 144.. 7 pot chauguanas 1 for 72, and the one that sprouted was a seed head I couldn't save. reapers 96%.. moruga x reaper 92%, 7-pot primo 67%, yellow fatalli 82%... same mat as some of the others, down to the same bag of coir, etc. So it's definitely seed issues.

 

But anyway don't mean to sidetrack your glog with my issues. Was just wanting to give a shout out to someone doing some testing lol!

 

To answer your other question I've got the second batch seeded (annuums) and after I see what those sprout % are like, I'll put it all together and send to them. So far it's pretty hit and miss. A full tray here, nadda there.. just disappointing to watch them do nothing. :)

 

I've been building some germination curves for various varieties, it's surprising how many of the slower growing ones (reapers, various 7-pots) will pop onesies or twosies every day for a week, then BAM 20+ in a day, then go back to 1-3 sprouts for a couple weeks. The germination curves of others are like '3 day window and we're done!" while some get spread out over 2+ weeks! 

 

Tomatoes are my favorite though, a tray of those, 3 days in, is like "HEEELLOOOO HERE ARE ALL OF US GIVE US LIGHT!" I had 4 trays of Amish paste sprout 98% inside of a 16 hour window, it was unreal, you could sit there for a half hour and watch a dozen or so sprouts pop up in the trays. :)

 

 

 



#12 Sawyer

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 09:19 AM

Hah, yeah, sprouting seeds is cool. I'm up to over 650 this morning in those two flats. (Gonna be a pain to separate them all.) I guess most of those extras germinated yesterday afternoon or early evening. Temperatures outside fell to the low 20s last night and the flats are down to about 70 degrees. That's put the brakes on things. It's supposed to warm up tomorrow, so maybe then or Thursday germination will take off again.

Even with the slowdown, at 650 seeds germinated, that's 45%. I'm fairly confident things will top out at more than 50%, so if anyone reading this wants to trade for (or even buy... I have plenty) these red ghost pepper seeds, send a pm. I'll send double what one would normally expect. What makes these special is their genetic purity, being only a very few generations removed from the original CPI introduction and bred in isolation each generation.

(Possibly) interesting germination story. I had six Kentucky coffeetree seeds a few falls ago that I planted in a pot and left outside to overwinter. Nothing came up in the spring and I kind of forgot about it. Fast forward a couple years to spring last year. I had read up some on the species and apparently it evolved along with the mastodons and mammoths. The seeds require either knicking by their teeth or passing through the digestive tract to germinate. (Or submersion in a marsh for an extended period.) I found the pot, poked around in it and came up with three or four seeds, still as rock hard as ever. I rubbed them on a concrete sidewalk until I'd abraded a small spot all the way through the seed coat. I now have two 1-year-old Kentucky coffeetree seedlings. I also have dozens and dozens more seeds to plant. If I could figure out how to hold them, I'd use a disc grinder on them. Maybe I'll set up the bench grinder or belt sander.

#13 PeriPeri

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 10:19 AM

John buddy, welcome back! What a cracking start to the season - looks like you are back with a bang. Here's hoping 2018 will bring you lots of success. This is also my first year back in a while and the season has been fair in the South. Looking forward to following your glog!


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#14 Sawyer

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 01:35 PM

Hey, Lourens, good to see you. Thanks for stopping by. Seems there are a few of us who've been awol awhile and are getting back in the game this year.

I clicked on your glog the other day, but didn't stay long. Will get back over there soon.

#15 Sawyer

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 05:56 PM

It didn't take nearly as long for flat temperatures to rebound as I expected. Just cracked 80 a little while ago, and germination is continuing apace. Have 203 in one flat and 558 in the other. That works out to... about 53% germination rate and climbing.

Tomatoes are my favorite though, a tray of those, 3 days in, is like "HEEELLOOOO HERE ARE ALL OF US GIVE US LIGHT!" I had 4 trays of Amish paste sprout 98% inside of a 16 hour window, it was unreal, you could sit there for a half hour and watch a dozen or so sprouts pop up in the trays. :)

I'm with you on the tomatoes. I have very few memories that pre-date those of working in the tomato fields of south Arkansas. Pretty much as soon as I was big enough to pick them and drag a 5 gallon bucket down the row, I was out there working. No, actually, even before that. I remember following my mom as she carried the bucket and helping to pick and fill her bucket.

I think I saw something in your glog, Trent, about 5000 pepper plants per acre. That seems about right to me. Those tomato fields were planted 4000 per acre. As little as a quarter acre could provide a good supplemental income over the course of a season.

#16 Genetikx

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 05:13 AM

Nice list, best of luck this year!

#17 Sawyer

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 11:41 AM

Thanks, Ryan. I took a look at your glog's first post and you're rocking a pretty solid list yourself. This year will be a rebuilding year for me in terms of variety. Definitely going for quantity on the ghosts.

Another mid- to low-20s night last night and the flats dropped to the mid-70s. No more freezing temps in the 10 day forecast, so that's good. Still, I think I'm past that burst of germination Trent was talking about up thread. Have 805 this morning for a hair shy of 56%. I'm pleased with that, given the age of the seeds. If things claw their way to 60%, I'll be very pleased. And that seems about right given I got 70% last year.

#18 Trident chilli

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:31 PM

Glad your back John ... all the very best for this season and I hope your picking plenty of pods by October

#19 stickman

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 04:59 PM

Hey, John's in the house! Welcome back buddy! Looking forward to seeing how your grow goes this year... good luck in 2018. :thumbsup:


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#20 Sawyer

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 12:50 PM

Glad your back John ... all the very best for this season and I hope your picking plenty of pods by October

 Thanks, John. Best of luck to you, as well. Because we all know, no matter how skilled the grower, how rich the soil, or how perfect the weather, it still takes a bit of luck to pull off a successful harvest.

Hey, John's in the house! Welcome back buddy! Looking forward to seeing how your grow goes this year... good luck in 2018. :thumbsup:

Hey, Rick, good to see you. Thanks for stopping by. Good luck to you, too. (See above.)

I was mistaken about being past peak germination. Flat temperatures rebounded nicely overnight to the low to mid 80s and another 222 popped. That brings the total to 1027, or 71% using the 1440 total. I think maybe the average 6 seeds per cell I'm using for the 10x17 flat underestimates the reality. The 7x12 flat, though, I was very careful to put 5 seeds per cell and there are 261 plants up there. That yields 62% germination which is more in line with my expectations.




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